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An effective power-control law (PCL), adaptive to the mobile distance from the base station, is proposed for the forward-link cellular code-division multiple-access (CDMA) system. In particular, two schemes, namely, linear and exponential schemes are demonstrated. The proposed PCL avoids the tedious decision on the threshold distance, which is required for the nth-order-of-distance (nOD) PCL. The relative power consumption among different schemes is also presented to illustrate the disadvantages of the previously reported schemes. Comparison with conventional nOD PCL shows that the proposed PCL yields more balanced and better performance. Numerical results suggest that the linear scheme may be applicable to macro-cell systems, whereas the exponential scheme is more suitable for micro- or pico-cell systems.